Hospice vs. Palliative Care: What Are the Differences?

As we age, sometimes the level of care that we require can change. Two of the most frequently misunderstood care options approaching the end of life are hospice care and palliative care. What are the key differences between the two, and which is better for different situations?

What Is Hospice Care?

Hospice care is a type of medical care offered as one approaches the end of life. The hospice care process is designed solely to improve the quality of life, quality of care and comfort of the person with a fatal illness. For some illnesses, there are no viable treatments, or potential treatments would involve pain that they do not want to endure. Those who are able to make decisions about their medical care have the freedom to elect for hospice care providing they receive a diagnosis from their doctor. 

Hospice care addresses managing pain and discomfort, as well as making the remaining quality of life as good as possible. It does not involve medical treatments designed to prolong life. Medicare only offers hospice care for patients who have been professionally evaluated by a doctor as having six months or less remaining in their lives. Hospice care can be covered by private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, VA benefits and Medicare Advantage plans. 

What Is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is a type of medical care offered to those with serious illnesses like Parkinson’s disease, cancer, heart failure or others. Palliative care is centered around improving the quality of life for patients through addressing their emotional, social, physical and spiritual needs. Patients undergoing palliative care often also receive medical treatment for their illness, to increase their lifespan, or to treat their current condition. 

Many patients who undergo palliative care are struggling with symptoms that make it challenging to live a fulfilled life, like persistent fatigue, nausea, pain or stress. The illnesses that can benefit from palliative care are not just those that are potentially fatal. Palliative care can be covered by private insurance plans, VA benefits or Medicare. A palliative care team will typically involve numerous professionals like doctors, nurses, nutritionists, chaplains and social workers. 

Make the Right Choice with Senior Care Lifestyles

Senior Care Lifestyles specializes in connecting seniors with the right in-home care, assisted living, or senior living community to meet their needs. We have helped hundreds of clients and treat each senior as a valued member of our own family deserving our personalized attention, compassion and respect.

For help, or questions please call us at 410-977-3718 or send a message through our website www.seniorcarelifestyles.com.

Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Owner, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA®) & Assisted Living Placement Specialist - Senior Care Lifestyles, LLC provides compassion, guidance and recommendations to families faced with transitioning a loved one into Assisted Living, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care, Skilled Nursing, Temporary Respite Care or a Continuous Care Retirement Community. Senior Care Lifestyles was founded in 2014 by Deborah Bakalich, a Certified Senior Advisor and graduate from both Towson University and Stevenson. Senior Care Lifestyles is uniquely positioned as a local (not National) Maryland based placement firm familiar with Maryland senior care facilities and in-state financial assistance programs for senior residents. They meet personally with each family to understand the seniors care needs including medical, personal lifestyle preferences, budget, religion and desired geographic location. They pride themselves in locally guiding and educating families through the entire maze of senior living options available and will schedule tours on behalf of the family and accompany the family on visits of communities. They are passionate and committed to finding the perfect match to call home and stays with the family throughout the entire process, every step of the way, until a decision is made, and the senior is safely moved into their new home. Senior Care Lifestyles can also provide the family with trustworthy, vetted, and reputable experts to assist with the transition for organizing, packing, moving, sale of real estate, estate planning, legal services, and determining eligibility for State, Federal and Veterans Benefits to assist with care costs. Deborah is a proud member of the Maryland Senior Resource Network (MSRN) where she has served as Vice President on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Organization, Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Mid-Atlantic Network Group and a member of the Business Opportunity Network (BON).

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